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There were flyovers at the 22nd annual Long Beach Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 10, 2018. 

Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson has issued a call for entries to the 23rd annual Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 9 — a much shorter parade than previous years.

Richardson's office is planning the parade and fair, which will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. The Veterans Day Parade Committee, a volunteer group that has been involved with the event since its beginning, pulled out of any involvement in mid-September.

Gus Orozco, committee president, sent a letter out then saying the city's Filming and Special Events Bureau had declined to meet with the committee about new rules regarding use of sponsorship money or other logistics. Val Lerch, former Ninth District councilman and longtime chair of the parade committee, has said that his group has had trouble with the city since Councilman Richardson has taken an interest in the parade.

Lerch was working with then-Ninth District Councilman Jerry Shultz when the Veterans Day Parade started. He and Shultz both say the committee had control of the parade until this year (see Another View, Page 2A). Tasha Day, manager of the Filming and Special Events Bureau, said last month that the city was the responsible party.

Richardson's office sent a press release out last Thursday, Oct. 10, seeking parade entries and vendors for a concurrent street fair, all on Atlantic Avenue. The street fair will close Atlantic from South Street to 60th Street for the three hours of the event.

The parade will march from Houghton Park (Harding Street) to South Street, disbanding there. Once the parade has passed, Atlantic will reopen between Harding and 60th streets.

Last year, the parade formed on South Street west of Atlantic and made a round-trip to Houghton Park and back. In previous years, it started at Houghton, went to 56th Street, then back to the park.

The parade has struggled to attract an audience, and rarely has had active military units in the parade, although flyovers have commonly been part of the festivities. In 2017, the committee attempted to move the parade route up Atlantic to Bixby Knolls, but ultimately kept it in the Ninth District with an added festival at Houghton Park. 

Richardson's press release says the parade sponsors are the Ninth District Council office and the city of Long Beach, with donations from the Port of Long Beach and Long Beach Airport (both city departments). Entry forms, liability waivers and more will go through the Ninth District office, according to Matthew Hamlett, Richardson's chief of staff.

Updated information is available at the Veterans Day Celebration Facebook page, www.facebook.com/events/406713820242331/For vendor information, call the Ninth District office at 562-570-6137 or email district9@longbeach.gov.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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